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Savor the Season with These Must-Try Fall Happenings

It’s Fall! Savor the season and enjoy one or more of these must-try fall happenings taking place throughout Chicagoland. Click on the event title link for complete details.

Fall Fest | Fridays –  Sundays, Sept. 29 – Oct. 29; 10 am – 5 pm | Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago, IL
This free family celebration features animal chats, musical entertainment, a pumpkin carver and fall-themed enrichment for the animals. Ticketed attractions throughout the zoo include a Ferris wheel, corn maze, hay mountain, fun slide, inflatable obstacle courses and more. Free; some ticketed attractions.

Oktoberfest | Fri., Oct. 6, 5-10 pm; Sat., Oct. 7, Noon-10 pm; Sun., Oct. 8, Noon-5 pm | Naper Settlement | Naperville, IL
Enjoy live musical entertainment ranging from classic German Oompa music to classic rock, along with German beer and cuisine. Family-friendly activities will be available on Saturday from noon-3 p.m.

Fall Color Festival | Events throughout October | Morton Arboretum | Lisle, IL
The celebration begins with the 14th Annual Fall Color 5K Run & Walk on Sun., Oct. 1. Additional ticketed events include glass-blower demonstrations in the Glass Pumpkin Patch (Oct. 11-15); Cider & Ale Festival (Oct. 21); Boo Breakfast (Oct. 29); Trick or Trees (weekends in October); a Scarecrow Trail and more. Admission includes free parking. Free general daily admission year-round to active-duty service men or women with a valid ID.

Fall Festival | Sat., Oct. 14; 10 am – 4 pm | Cantigny Park | Wheaton, IL
Celebrate autumn with harvest-time fun. Enjoy a variety of activities including a Fall craft show, music, hayrides and more. Free with $5 parking fee. Nominal charge ($1-$3) for certain activities.

Creature Double Feature | Sat., Oct. 7; 7 pm-10 pm | Lisle Community Park | Lisle, IL
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a double feature under the stars! At 7pm, enjoy “Nightmare Before Christmas” followed by “Casper” at 8:30pm. Free.

Open House Chicago | Sat.-Sun., Oct. 14-15; hours vary | 200 Buildings | Chicago, IL
Have you ever walked by a building and wished you could take a look inside? Now you can! This free public festival offers behind-the-scenes access to 200 buildings across Chicago, where visitors can explore hidden gems and architectural treasures of the city. Tour soaring skyscrapers, repurposed mansions, opulent theaters, exclusive private clubs, private offices and breathtaking sacred spaces. Free.

Ghost Story Train | Sat., Oct. 14 & 21; Departures at 5 pm, 6:15 pm and 7:30 pm | Fox River Trolley Museum | South Elgin, IL
Jump on the Ghost Story Trolley and take a ride into the John Duerr Forest Preserve. Gather around the roaring fire and listen to spooky stories and sing campfire songs while eating scrumptious s’mores. Costumes are welcomed; suitable for all ages. Reservations and tickets required.

U-Pick & Amaze ‘N Apples | Open daily thru Oct. 31; hours vary | Royal Oak Farm Orchard | Harvard, IL
The only apple tree maze of its kind in the United States with more than 1.5 miles of winding trails as you make your way across the 5 acres it covers.  Plus apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, train and carousel rides, a petting zoo and more.

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